the curse and the blessing in the thorns

Perhaps you remember these words that God spoke to Adam in the Garden after he and Eve had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil …

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  Genesis 3:17-19 (ESV)

Because of what Adam had done, the ground was cursed and part of that curse included thorns and thistles.  The author of Hebrews emphasizes the reality of that curse … and its fate.

For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.  But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.  Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.  Hebrews 6:7-9 (ESV)

And the reality of that fate reveals itself in the midst of the parable of the sower as Jesus explains it …

And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.  Luke 8:7,14 (ESV)

Let us pause for a moment and consider what a curse is … a curse is something causing misery or severe affliction and suffering up to and including death.  But perhaps there is another aspect of curses we have not fully considered.

Typically our course of action where curses are concerned is to fight them as if we are undeserving … as if the curse is unwarranted.  Which from what I have observed only tends to strengthen the power of the curse upon us …

So One chose to redeem mankind from the curse by becoming the curse (Galatians 3:13)  … the paradoxical truth is that we become victorious by enduring and embracing the curse in humility vs. fighting and forgetting the curse in pride …

And the reality of that truth began to become evident in a crown … a crown of thorns …

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him.   And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.  And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.  Matthew 27:27-31 (ESV)

And the route of the curse began to turn towards a blessing …

Check out the apostle Paul’s explanation …

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (ESV)

When Paul became content in the curse, he found that God’s grace was sufficient, the power of Christ rested upon him, he realized and became content in his weakness, and he discovered that in his weakness the power of Christ was made perfect … and he was blessed.

So much to consider and meditate upon – thank you Jesus!

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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4 Responses to the curse and the blessing in the thorns

  1. “And the reality of that truth began to become evident in a crown… a crown of thorns…”
    Great insight. I never caught that before. I’ve always heard that everything in the Old Testament points toward Christ, but I couldn’t always see it. The mention of thorns in Genesis is a great example. Again, I’ve learned something new from your blog. 🙂

    • bwebbjr says:

      Glad to hear it Glenda – any God-worthy insights are by His grace and only possible through the illumination of the Holy Spirit – ALL praise, honor and glory to God!

      Bernie

  2. jimdavenport says:

    … a significant insight showing the truth of the Word … inerrant and without equal … just as is the character of God. Jim D.

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